From Kutch to Tashkent

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965

September 2013 9781849042307 256pp


Decades of Pakistani resentment over India’s stance on Kashmir, and its subsequent attempt to force a military solution on the issue, led to the 1965 war between the two neighbours. It ended in a stalemate on the battlefield, and after a mere twenty-one days, the war was brought to a dramatic end with the signing of a peace treaty at Tashkent. The opposing sides both claimed victory, however, and also catalogues of heroic deeds that have since taken on the character of mythology. Although neither prevailed outright, the one undoubted loser in the conflict was the incumbent President of Pakistan, General Ayub Khan, who staked his political and military reputation on Pakistan emerging victorious. With the superpowers unwilling assist in negotiations, and Pakistan reluctant to damage its alliance with America, the agreement that followed only reinforced India’s position not to surrender anything during diplomacy that Pakistan had failed to gain militarily. This book examines in detail the politics, diplomacy and military manoeuvres of the war, using British and American declassified documents and memoirs, as well as some unpublished interviews. It provides a comprehensive overview of the conflict and makes sense of the morass of diplomacy and the confusion of war.


‘Farooq Bajwa’s book on the 1965 war is a mature study based on original research into hitherto unpublished material. … [H]e eschews partisanship and strives to be fair. The reader is taken all the way through the dense thicket, by each chapter on Operation Gibraltar, Operation Grand Slam and Operation Riddle. [A] lucid account.’ — A.G. Noorani, Frontline

‘ … a panoptic account of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. Bajwa debunks several myths. … Bajwa has done a commendable job in providing a comprehensive account of the conflict that will benefit students, scholars, and general readers alike. The book should be included in university courses focusing on South Asian politics and history.’ — Contemporary South Asia


Farooq Bajwa completed a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics in 1990. He lectured on history and politics at a variety of universities and institutions before training to become a barrister and a solicitor. He is the author of Pakistan: An Historic and Contemporary Look, a major textbook in Pakistan for students of the country’s history.

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